Hillary Libnoch, Ph.D.

Hillary LibnochAssistant Professor of Education
Literacy and Elementary Education
Blair Hall 211
(937) 327-6419

Hillary Libnoch, Assistant Professor of Education, joined Wittenberg University’s Education Department in August 2020. She specializes in literacy in early and middle childhood, with additional expertise in facilitating the language and literacy learning of emergent bilingual students. Her background in education includes a wide variety of experience working with students at the elementary, middle school, and university levels. Additionally, as a former editor for an educational publishing company, she participated in the development of literacy resources for students in grades PreK–8.

Hillary currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to literacy, teacher research, educational philosophy, and more. In addition to teaching, she also engages in research, professional activity, and service to her academic community. Inspired by her tenure as a classroom teacher of Spanish-English bilingual kindergarteners, Hillary’s dissertation examined the language and literacy experiences of young emergent bilingual children from refugee backgrounds in their homes and communities. “Using Picture Books About Refugees: Fostering Diversity and Social Justice in the Elementary School Classroom,” an article she coauthored, was published in the practitioner-oriented journal Young Children. In addition, she has presented research on language- and literacy-related topics at local and national conferences, including LRA, NCTEAR, and TESOL.

Hillary received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and K–12 Reading Endorsement from the University of Mount Union and her M.S. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University. She was a university fellow at Ohio State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning in 2021. Hillary lives in Columbus with her husband, John, and son, Oliver. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to live music, traveling, organizing, and being outdoors.


  • Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning—Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood, Ohio State University
  • M.S. in Education, Teacher Leadership, Walden University
  • B.A. in Early Childhood Education, University of Mount Union

Areas Of Interest & Expertise

  • Language and literacy in early childhood contexts
  • Language and literacy experiences of emergent bilingual students in early childhood contexts
  • Language and literacy experiences of children from refugee backgrounds

Notable Accomplishments

  • University Fellow, Ohio State University
  • Merit Award—rated among top 10% of teachers in Hillsborough County, FL, based on student growth on FAIR assessment
  • Summa Cum Laude, University of Mount Union

Courses Taught

  • Philosophical Perspectives in Education
  • Elementary Literature and Language Arts
  • Assessing and Diagnosing Reading Difficulties
  • Planning and Implementing Teacher Research
  • Language and Word Study for All Learners
  • Family Participation in Early Childhood School Programs
  • Reading Foundations
  • Understanding Phonics and Its Role in Reading Instruction
  • Educational Technology
  • Professional & Ethical Issues in Education

Publications & Presentations

  • Piasta, S. B., Park, S., Fitzgerald, L. R., & Libnoch, H. A. (2021). Young children’s alphabet learning as a function of instruction and letter difficulty [Manuscript in preparation]. Department of Teaching and Learning, Ohio State University.
  • Libnoch, H. A., & Ridley, J. (2020, December). Using picture books about refugees: Fostering diversity and social justice in the elementary school classroom. Young Children, 28-35.
  • Libnoch, H. A. (2020, February). Language and literacy in out-of-school contexts: The experiences and self-perceptions of children of refugees. Symposium paper presentation proposed to the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research Midwinter Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Libnoch, H. A., Fitzgerald, L. R., & Piasta, S. B. (2019, December). How current preschool teachers build alphabet knowledge in the classroom: When research and practice align. Roundtable paper presentation proposed to the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida.
  • Libnoch, H. A. (2019, October). The role of technology in the life of a child of Myanmarese refugees. Paper presentation proposed to the Ohio TESOL Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
  • Wilkinson, I. A. G., & Libnoch, H. A. (2018, June). The present and future of reading comprehension instruction. Invited paper presented at the festschrift symposium for P. David Pearson, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, California.
  • Fitzgerald, L. R., Libnoch, H. A., & Piasta, S. B. (2018, April). Best Practices in Alphabet Instruction: Lessons (version 1). Columbus, Ohio: Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University.
  • Libnoch, H. A., Fitzgerald, L. R., & Piasta, S. B. (2018, February). Alphabet lesson development in response to educator feedback and trial lessons with children. Poster presented at The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Student Research Forum, Columbus, Ohio.
  • Libnoch, H. A., Fitzgerald, L. R., & Piasta, S. B. (2017, September). Creating alphabet lessons for young children: Initial development and educator feedback. Poster presented at the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy Symposium on Children, Columbus, Ohio.
  • Ridley, J. & Libnoch, H. A. (2017, May). Teaching young learners about refugees through picture books. Poster presented at The Ohio Early Childhood Conference, Sandusky, Ohio.
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